Asylum Staff Attorney at Luminus Network for New Americans, Inc.
Luminus Network for New Americans
Location: Columbia, Maryland
Type: Full Time
Preferred Education: Juris Doctor
Luminus offers a competitive salary at $70,000 along with a benefits package including health, dental, disability and life insurance, generous leave, and a retirement plan.
If you share Luminus’ vision and possess the necessary qualifications, please send a cover letter (including salary requirements) and a resume to email@example.com.
Luminus provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, religion, age, disability, gender identity, results of genetic testing or service in the military.
The Luminus Network for New Americans is a DOJ recognized nonprofit that empowers immigrants and refugees by providing programs and direct services that help them access community resources and opportunities. The Asylum Staff Attorney will be responsible for direct management of our partnership with Asylee Women’s Enterprise where s/he will provide immigration legal services for asylum seekers and other forced migrants.
Services will be provided out of AWE's center in Northeast Baltimore, including accompaniment to immigration court hearings in Baltimore or asylum interviews in Arlington, VA (asylum seekers in Maryland, not in removal/deportation proceedings, will first have their case heard in Arlington, VA Asylum Office).
Background: All of the project beneficiaries have fled persecution in their home country. Most are seeking asylum but may have other immigration legal relief options including the Special Immigrant Juvenile Visa (for children that are orphaned, abandoned, or abused) or the T Visa for foreign-born survivors of trafficking. AWE is a sub grantee of the federally funded Trafficking Victims Assistance Program (TVAP) providing case management and financial assistance for foreign-born trafficking survivors. Most TVAP clients fled persecution in their home country in hopes of seeking asylum. Due to the scant resources and supports available to asylum seekers, some fell victim to exploitation or trafficking - as is the case with majority of AWE's current TVAP clients. The Luminus attorney will determine the most appropriate legal relief option for each beneficiary to pursue.
In each grant year, 20 asylum seekers (and their children/derivatives) will be provided representation at no cost. Twenty other beneficiaries will receive low bono representation.
The Asylum Staff Attorney will start by March 1, 2022. The AWE social work and support staff are already in place. Additional support will be provided by three bilingual social work interns placed through June, 2022. The Staff Attorney will be responsible for:
Establish pro and low bono legal services to indigent asylum seekers and other forced migrants that is 75% self-sustaining within two years.
In partnership with AWE social work team, identify 20 asylum seekers (and their children/derivatives) with compelling legal relief, without the ability to secure representation on their own, and with urgent filing deadlines. Social worker will refer to Luminus attorney, based out of AWE's center.
Luminus and AWE will work in collaboration to identify those clients that can make a modest contribution to their legal services (low bono). Low bono services will subsidize the pro bono program.
AWE's Trafficking Victim's Assistance Program clients that are local to Baltimore will be referred for consultation through the low bono program. Those clients that are eligible for a T (trafficking) Visa, will be represented through the low bono program and use their stipend for legal services (up to $1,500) toward the cost of representation.
AWE social work team will provide case management, ensure unmet needs are addressed and assist in stabilization (housing, medical, mental health, other) to ensure optimal working relationship with the legal team and well-being of the family unit.
Ensure access to competent and timely immigration legal services to the most vulnerable asylum seekers and other forced migrants in removal (deportation) proceedings.
Clients referred for legal services will be identified by the AWE social work team and Luminus staff.
Initial consultation will occur within 2 weeks of referral.
When possible, application for relief will be submitted before the one year filing deadline.
Numerical Outcomes: Goal of 95% positive outcomes in immigration court.
38 of 40 clients (and their children/derivatives) will have positive outcomes in Immigration Court/Asylum Office.
95% of clients, through work with the AWE social work team and Luminus attorney, will be in stable housing, with access to medical and mental health resources.
100% of clients accessing mental health resources, will obtain documentation from the therapist to support their asylum (or other relief) claim.
Luminus’ Asylum Staff Attorney will be supervised by the Managing Attorney and will be expected to participate in check-ins and legal staff meetings. Other Luminus legal staff will support him/her and may on occasion support with cases.
This individual will be expected to maintain outstanding relations with AWE and possess strong knowledge of immigration laws and issues, to educate the local community about immigration-related matters and occasionally provide outreach. Additionally, this individual will be expected to maintain an excellent working relationship with AWE’s entire staff, collaborating with them and building support for AWE and Luminus wherever possible. This is a FT, non-exempt position.
Follow-up on cases and update clients in a timely manner.
Compile reports as directed by Managing Attorney, particularly for donor.
Maintain certifications and/or licenses and attend ongoing trainings to retain knowledge of immigration law.
Network and build relationships with other community based legal service providers in the area to support our advocacy efforts.
In addition to the skills above, the Asylum Staff Attorney should be creative and adaptive in meeting the needs of clients in today’s political and COVID19 environment, excelling in his/her role as a problem solver as s/he addresses the protection needs of the immigrants we serve.
Education and Experience Requirements
Bachelor’s degree and JD; 3-5+ years of experience in immigration law preferred, removal experience preferred, multi-lingual candidates with a priority for Spanish speakers are preferred.
Celebrating 40 years of serving the immigrant and foreign-born community with legal assistance, language translations and interpretations and one-on-one
information and referral assistance, FIRN, Inc.'s name changed to Luminus Network, Inc. The immigrant story is the American story. We envision a community that welcomes New American neighbors, values their culture, understands and addresses their needs, celebrates their achievements and elevates their voices. We serve 3,000 people annually with individuals from 90 countries.